Primary care for you and your family, close to home.
A heart attack occurs as a result of decreased blood flow to the heart, which can cause irreversible injury to heart tissue and death. Heart attacks most commonly happen due to coronary artery disease (CAD), an accumulation of plaque inside coronary blood vessels. When a plaque ruptures, a clot forms at the site and causes sudden obstruction to blood flow in that artery, which leads to a heart attack.
This obstruction is why time is essential when treating a heart attack. The faster your blood begins flowing to your heart again, the less damage your heart suffers, and the more likely a full recovery can occur.
Wellstar is focused on preventing, diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating heart disease with skilled physicians and advanced technology close to home. Emergency departments at Wellstar Cobb Hospital, Douglas Hospital, Kennestone Hospital and Paulding Hospital provide comprehensive cardiac services. Wellstar Cobb and Kennestone hospital’s cardiac diagnostic and treatment services provide the next level of defense against heart disease. The technologically advanced Cardiac Center at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital and partnership with Emory Healthcare for adult open-heart surgery raises the bar on world-class cardiac care.
Men and women often experience different symptoms when having a heart attack. Symptoms typical of a heart attack in men can include the following:
Women may experience the above heart attack symptoms, plus any of the following:
Learn the symptoms of a heart attack for both men and women and contact 9-1-1 immediately if you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms.
An additional risk factor for women:
A combination of lifestyle changes and medication can help you reduce your risk of heart attack, even if you’ve already had one. Your Wellstar physicians will discuss a prevention plan with you, whether you have already had a heart attack or are at high risk of having one.
If you are over 35 years old and have heart attack risk factors, your Wellstar physician may recommend screenings, which can detect heart disease in early stages and allow you to take steps to keep from having a heart attack.
The procedures or screenings your physician recommends may include:
Diagnostic tests are performed immediately in an emergency department during a suspected heart attack.
Immediate diagnostic tests for heart attack include:
Other diagnostic tests may include:
Initiating treatment as soon as symptoms begin is the most important factor in preventing or minimizing permanent heart damage. The treatment goal is to open the blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart before permanent damage or death occurs. The accredited Chest Pain Centers at Wellstar Cobb Hospital, Douglas Hospital and Kennestone Hospital have recognized rapid response times for initiating treatment for a heart attack.
Some of the same medications prescribed to prevent heart attack can also be used to stop a heart attack. Since heart attacks occur when your blood clots at the site of a ruptured plaque, the medicines needed are those that stop the clotting. Prescribed medications might include:
Surgical approaches for heart attack include:
Continued good health following a heart attack involves lifestyle changes. Wellstar offers a medically supervised cardiac rehabilitation program made up of exercise, education, lifestyle modification and emotional support. Cardiologists and cardiac rehabilitation specialists will tailor a program including some or all of the following to help meet your specific needs and goals.